On April 28th 2006, I emailed Andrew asking him to send Reiki to Thom and me for our coughs, and to Forrest Fest, Lamesa for joy and success of the Festval. Forrest Fest is an arts festival, featuring music, poetry and visual arts, started in 2000 by Connie Williams who is herself talented in all those art forms. An extra source of excitement for me was that Connie had invited me to participate in a Beltane ritual with local witches.
'No sweat,' replied Andrew. 'Sent Reiki all last night to you. Will send to you both today.'
Great, thank you. Did OK at ritual, need voice for poems especially Saturday.
Last night at Austin saddish. Cafe Caffeine had no audience, but my dear Rhie (22-yr-old performance poet) came just to say goodbye, taking time off work, and we exchanged email addresses. She read from Ginsberg, great stuff. Neil also came to say goodbye; we sat and yarned. Then Thom and I drove from 10pm to 4.30am, me staying awake to keep him awake.
Here we are in the desert with great people.
May be able to email briefly more often. Home so soon now!!!!
These are my kinda witches here; we muddled around a bit, laughed a lot, improvised, changed the plans made over many months, spoke well — and raised power. When we invoked the wind, it roared. At the end, a coyote howled.
On April 30th I said:
We just finished Forrest Fest. I am sitting in a loungeroom full of featured poets sitting around drinking (mostly soft) and chatting, at Connie's, where we all came back to. Thom's going to drive to Austin tonight to be back for Neil's birthday party tomorrow.
I won the anthology poetry contest, prize $100. I met more wonderful people, new friends for life. Amazing contact with a highly psychic couple. Heard great poems and music. This morning at Connie's request I conducted the tree dedication/blessing. Everyone said how beautifully I spoke. This surprised me; I just said what came. We danced around the tree (globe willow sapling) afterwards.
The people here at Lamesa (pronounced Lameesa by the locals) are very down to earth; suits my Aussie soul - as I told 'em from the stage tonight. I am sad in some ways to be leaving soon.
Clarence (witch/poet) suggested they should keep me here and not let me go. Instead, he and his wife will come to plane Monday to see me off.
I did an amazing psychic reading yesterday for Tony, the 'cowboy poet' and came up with astonishing shared past life!!! And he already knew about it!
The world is full of wonders. I was so definitely meant to be here, in so many ways. Not all clear yet. Psychic poet today (Alan) says it will all come clear shortly after I go home.
Looking forward to seeing you and friends. But I am different.
I gave away my old Voyager deck and got new one, while still in Austin.
My hair is growing a bit long and is faded ginger now. I bought elastic sided lace-up boots today for $2 at garage sale. The bug is getting better slowly; I managed to go on and be great, and snuffling and coughing rest of time (Thom same).
Getting back to party now. Luv ya
Party over some time ago, luvverly music was played. (Romantic, and my mind wandered pleasantly to you!) Connie & Tony & I bin sitting around yarning, v. ready for bed now. Some poets/musos staying at motel may come for breakfast here tomorrow.
I am very happy here - not on the ecstatic high of Austin area, more down-home. My glamour has pretty much gone, and it doesn't matter, these are down to earth people and I love 'em. Well of course, this is a small town and not a city, so I would be at home here.
Again I have made friends for life, soul brothers and sisters.
Night-night, see you soon.
Connie and I had been corresponding by email before I left Australia, thanks to Thom putting us in touch, and already 'clicked'. We really felt like soul-sisters when we found out we'd both dyed our hair deep red in the same week.
Her home had several extra bedrooms; Thom and Tony and I were all staying there. It was luxuriously comfortable, and her computer was always on and available for her guests to send emails, and her kitchen table laden with all kinds of hearty, help-yourself food.
In person I discovered her to be a tiny, dynamic woman: warm, down-to-earth and very talented. She had a degree in music, played guitar, sang, and even wrote her own songs as well as being a wonderful poet.
The first morning of Forrest Fest, Connie, Thom and Tony left early to entertain people in an old folks' home. Not being the least bit musical myself, I slept in instead, which I very much needed after our long ride across Texas to get there.
That evening we did our thing in a local café, to the bemusement of some of the locals and the enthusiasm of most. By then we were joined by several other poets from Austin and San Antonio, such as Rod Stryker, Philip , 'Hippie Rick', and musician-poets Kathleen Romana of La Tazza Fresca, Fred Williams, Paula Held and Steve Brooks. Paula's voice in particular was hauntingly beautiful; I could have listened forever.
The park where we held the tree planting coincided with a gathering of people dressed up in medieval garb. We went to say hello to them afterwards and admire their costumes.